By Twinomuhwezi Enock
KRC has for the last 20 years been part of the global campaign to address the marauding effects of climate change. However, its imperative to note that there is a difference between climate change and weather change as explained hereunder
Weather is short term change in the atmosphere in a limited area,- can change rapidly and is difficult to predict. Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the degree to which it is hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloudy. Weather occurs primarily due to air pressure, temperature and moisture differences between one place to another. These differences can occur due to the sun angle at any particular spot, which varies by latitude from the tropics.
The individual elements of weather are; solar radiation, temperature, precipitation, humidity, and wind. Weather plays a major role in determining the success of agricultural pursuits. Most field crops are dependent solely upon weather to provide life‐sustaining water and energy. Livestock are also dependent upon weather for their comfort and food supplies. Occasionally, adverse weather conditions can cause production losses, especially if experienced during critical stages of growth. Individual elements of weather influence crops and livestock in particular ways. However, the combination of all-weather elements occurring simultaneously can have additive effects.
Photos showing weather and weather change.
While Climate is on a long term, wide area, cause seasonal changes and is measured over long spans of time. In other words, climate refers to statistics of weather over long periods of time. It is measured by assessing the patterns of variation in temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, precipitation, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological variables in a given region over long periods of time. Climate differs from weather, in that weather only describes the short-term conditions of these variables in a given region.
Note; Climate change is a change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns when that change lasts for an extended period of time (i.e., decades to millions of years). Climate change may refer to a change in average weather conditions, or in the time variation of weather within the context of longer-term average conditions.
Climate change is affected by abiotic factors among which are-latitude, altitude, ocean currents, topography, solar radiation, evaporation, orbital variations and volcanic activity and biotic factors among which are-transpiration, respiration, photosynthesis, decomposition and digestion.
Agriculture contributes to climate change both by anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and by the conversion of non-agricultural land such as forests into agricultural land. Agriculture, forestry and land-use changecontributed around 20 to 25% to global annual emissions.
Climate change and agriculture are interrelated processes, both of which take place on a global scale. Climate change affects agriculture in a number of ways, including through changes in average temperatures, rainfall, and climate extremes (e.g., heat waves); changes in pests and diseases; changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide and ground-level ozone concentrations and changes in the nutritional quality of some foods.
In the long run, the climatic change could affect agriculture in several ways:
- Productivity, in terms of quantity and quality of crops
- Agricultural practices, through changes of water use (irrigation) and agricultural inputs such as herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers.
- Environmental effects, in particular in relation of frequency and intensity of soil drainage (leading to nitrogen leaching), soil erosion, reduction of crop diversity
- Rural space, through the loss and gain of cultivated lands, land speculation, land renunciation, and hydraulic amenities.
- Adaptation, organisms may become more or less competitive, as well as humans may develop urgency to develop more competitive organisms, such as flood resistant or salt resistant varieties of rice.
Photos showing climate change.